Peadar Coyle, Founder of London based Aflorithmic Labs says we are a personalised audio as a service company. We enable people to tell engaging stories to their audience. For example, we make personalised audio for lead generation or customer engagement on web and app environments. We also have some clients who are publishers – who want to create personalised audiobooks for their customers. And although we haven’t done any pilots with sales teams, we’ve had interest from them too. Think of a ‘personalised audio sales cheat’ to help your team learn about new technology or hit their targets.
Audio is a fast-growing market, for example did you know that audiobooks and podcasts are growing at about 30% year on year. So, we’re very excited to ride this wave.
What are your main priorities and goals in your role?
I lead the tech team. My priorities are to deliver innovative software and lead our machine learning efforts.
What are your biggest challenges?
As an early stage startup our biggest challenge is market risk. So as a category-defining company who’s building ‘personalised audio as a service’ we run into the challenges of educating the market. That takes time and is different than say selling into a well-defined category such as accountancy software. Thankfully, we already have customers and pilots ongoing and we’ve sufficiently de-risked a lot of the earlier risks, but I think it’s fair to say go to market risk is something we still need to navigate.
How has your business strategy been adapted in the context of the Covid-19 crisis?
So, it was disruptive to move to 100 percent remote however we navigated that well. Audio content demand increased during covid so it wasn’t a huge issue.
How do you keep your team/staff motivated?
Regular check ins and zoom calls with the team. Really important to celebrate wins
What are the challenges facing your industry going forward?
Covid has affected early stage investment and VCs seem more cautious.
What new trends are emerging in your industry?
The rise of smart speakers, airpods and podcasts are significant tailwinds for audio. In 10 years from now 50 percent of interactions with computers will be voice first.
Are there any major changes you would like to see in your sector?
None really largely the government in the UK is doing a good job in tech.
Are you finding any skills gaps in the market?
It’s a big challenge to find technically savvy sales-people and good engineers are super difficult to find. It’s a seller’s market.
How will Brexit affect you, or have you started to feel the effects already?
None that I can think of.
How do you define success and what drives you to succeed?
We want to build a European tech success story. We want Aflorithmic to be talked of like spotify or King or intercom are as good places that innovative work happens and that build good product for their customers
What’s the best advice you’ve been given, or would give, in business?
I used to think that technological challenges were the hardest things in a tech company. However, business is always about relationships and it’s really important to cultivate them and understand how to work with different people. As your company grows you need to get over a classical engineer problem of understanding that sometimes people think differently than people are wrong.
When I was at Amazon, they used to emphasize ‘focus on the customer and work backwards’ and I think it’s very good advice. Some companies I’ve worked at, it felt somewhat that they forgot who their customers were.
What have been your highlights in business over the past year?
We’re revenue generating so the first clients were significant milestones. Raising a significant innovate UK grant was also helpful.
What’s next for your company?
We expect to raise a significant investment round before the end of the year. To accelerate our product development and our go to market.
What opportunities or plans for growth do you see in 2020/21?
We’ve a bunch of new product lines coming out. Keep following us on LinkedIn to find out more.
Where do you want your business/brand to be this time next year?
We would like to have expanded to the US. We see that as a very big potential market for us.